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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SUBTROPICAL INSECT PESTS OF VEGETABLES AND ORNAMENTAL PLANTS

Location: Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research

Title: Vertical and horizontal distribution and seasonal dynamics of an invasive thrips species, Scirtothrips dorsalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) in south Florida

Authors
item Kumar, V -
item Kakkar, G -
item Seal, D -
item McKenzie, Cindy
item Osborne, L -

Submitted to: Florida Scientist
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 11, 2013
Publication Date: March 8, 2013
Citation: Kumar, V., Kakkar, G., Seal, D.R., McKenzie, C.L., Osborne, L.S. 2013. Vertical and horizontal distribution and seasonal dynamics of an invasive thrips species, Scirtothrips dorsalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) in south Florida. In: Proceedings of Florida Scientist. 76:7-8.

Technical Abstract: The chilli thrips, Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood, is a newly introduced insect pest of various tropical and subtropical crops that poses a significant economic threat to U.S. agriculture and trade. Since its introduction in 2005, S. dorsalis has established in 30 counties of Florida and 8 counties of Texas. Considering the lack of information on its dispersion behavior, we studied its abundance in space and time. In a vertical distribution study, S. dorsalis density decreased with an increase of height, with the highest mean number of immature (33.6) and adults (13.8) at the lowest height (45.7 cm) above ground. The study of horizontal distribution showed that S. dorsalis have weak dispersal potential, and aggregated distribution of thrips was reported in the field condition. During the six week study period, thrips were found to disperse a 9 m horizontal distance from their source population. During two year study, high abundance of thrips population was observed during May-October with the highest mean count during July and August in both years. Flight activity of adults was highest between 10:00-16:00 EST at peak solar radiation (~337-653 w/m2). This information will help growers and extension personnel predict farm-scale distribution of S. dorsalis and efficiently monitor the pest for management before they become a serious problem for vegetable and ornamental industry in the United States.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014